Seminar Curriculum

This is the schedule that NEH scholars generally followed in 2015, 2017-2019.


Introduction to Seminar

Overview of Seminar Goals, Curriculum, and Expectations

Introductions, Program Logistics, and Discussion

Portrait of Yarrow Mamout by Charles Wilson Peale

Lecture: American Attitudes Toward Islam & Muslims

Readings:   The Practice of Islam in America: An Introduction (to be read before arrival)

Kambiz GhaneaBassiri, “Introduction,” History of Islam in America, 1-9

African American Muslims in the Antebellum South

Readings: Omar ibn Sayyid, The Autobiography of Omar Ibn Sayyid (1831), 5-9

Kambiz GhaneaBassiri, “Islamic Beliefs and Practice in Colonial and Antebellum America,” History of Islam in America, 59-94

           View and Discuss Prince among Slaves (60 min.)

History of Muslim Immigrants and Converts 

Readings: Mohammed Alexander Russell Webb, “Islam in America” (1893), 9-18

Mosque in Ross, North Dakota

Interviews with Syrian Muslim Sodbusters in North Dakota, 29-39

KambizGhaneaBassiri, “Race, Ethnicity, Religion, and Citizenship,” History of Islam in America, 135-164

The Flowering of African American Islam

Readings: Excerpts from Moslem Sunrise newspaper, including “I Am a Moslem” (1921), “True Salvation of the American Negroes” (1923), “Crescent or Cross: A Negro May   Aspire to any Position under Islam without Discrimination” (1923), and “Living Flora—And Dead” (1924), 53-58Picture1.png

Noble Drew Ali, The Holy Koran of the Moorish Science Temple (1927), 59-64          

Kambiz GhaneaBassiri, “Rooting Islam in America,” History of Islam in America, 165-227

Mosque Visit No. 1

Al-Huda Mosque, Fishers, Indiana,


Assimilation and Dissent: Muslim America in the Cold War

          Readings: Abdo Elkholy, The Arab Moslems in the United States (1966), 76-85 

Shaikh Daoud Ahmed Faisal, Al-Islam: The Religion of Humanity (1950), 64-72

Elijah Muhammad, “What the Muslims Want” and “What the Muslims Believe” (1965), 92-96

Igram Family, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Piri Thomas, Excerpt from Down these Mean Streets (1967), 85-92

Kambiz GhaneaBassiri, “Islam and American Civil Religion in the Aftermath of World War II,” History of Islam in America, 228-271

Malcolm X and His Legacy in U.S. History and Literature

Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, and kidsReadings: Malcolm X, “Interview with Al-Muslimun,” 96-104

           W. D. Mohammed, “Historic Atlanta Address” (1978), 116-120

           Minister Louis Farrakhan, “Million Man March Address” (1995), 130-139 

Religious Revival from the 1970s until Today                  

Readings: Jeffrey Lang, Struggling to Surrender: Some Impressions of an American Convert to Islam (1995), 139-148 

         Sally Howell, “Finding the Straight Path: A Conversation with Mohsen and Lila Amen about Faith, Life, and Family in Dearborn” (2000), 148-158

          Kambiz GhaneaBassiri, “A New Religious America and a Post-Colonial Muslim World,” 272-326

Women and Gender in Muslim America

Readings: Damarys Ocana, “Our Stories: A Leap of Faith” (2004), 158-166

Asra Q. Nomani, Standing Alone in Mecca: An American Woman’s Struggle for the Soul of Islam (2005), 169-178762128.jpg

Leila Ahmed, “From Abu Dhabi to America,” (2000), 183-188

Asma Gull Hasan, American Muslims: The New Generation (2000), 207-215

Azizah al-Hibri, “An Introduction to Muslim Women’s Rights” (2001), 215-223

Amina Wadud, Qur’an and Woman: Rereading the Sacred Text from a Woman’s Perspective (1999), 223-231

Khalida Saed, “On the Edge of Belonging” in Living Islam Outloud: American Muslim Women Speak (2005), 231-238

 Mosque Visit No. 2

Readings: Imam Zaid Shakir, “An Examination of the Issue of Female Prayer Leadership” (2005), 239-246

Laury Silvers, “Islamic Jurisprudence, ‘Civil’ Disobedience, and Woman-Led Prayer” (2005), 246-252

Ingrid Mattson, “Can a Woman be an Imam?  Debating Form and Function in Muslim Women’s Leadership” (2005), 252-263

Visit Nur Allah Mosque


 Muslim American Public Life after 9/11

        height.182.no_border.width.320.jpg   Readings: Council of American-Islamic Relations, “The Status of Muslim Civil Rights in the United States” (2005), 268-275

Laila Al-Marayati, “American Muslim Charities: Easy Targets in the War on Terror” (2005)

United States of America v. Earnest James Ujaama,” (2002), 275-287

          Fiqh Council of North America, “Fatwa against Terrorism” (2005), 293-296         

           Omid Safi, “Being Muslim, Being American after 9/11,” (2002), 296-302

          Spoken word: Suheir Hammad, “first writing since” (

          Kambiz GhaneaBassiri, “Between Experience and Politics,” 327-378

 Muslim American Spirituality and Religious Life                

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2019 NEH Scholars at the IUPUI Campus Center

Readings:  Betty Hasan Amin, “Hajj in a Wheelchair,” Azizah Magazine (2002), 339-346

 Abdul Rauf, “Who is God?” in Qur’an for Children (1995)

 Shakina Reinhertz, Women Called to the Path of Rumi (2001), 348-358     

Aminah McCloud and Frederick Thaufeer al-Deen, A Question of Faith for Muslim Inmates (1999)

Contemporary Muslim American Voices

The group will help to identify topics of conversation, and the director will gather a round table of Muslim Americans from central Indiana to discuss these topics.

2015 participants.jpg
2015 NEH Scholars

Islamic Ethics in America

Readings: Suhail Mulla, “Online Advice about Muslim Youth” (2004 and 2005), 378-384

Islamic Medical Association of North American (IMANA), “Islamic Medical Ethics” (2005), 384-395

Yahia Abdul-Rahman and Abdullah S. Tug, “Introduction to Lariba Financing” (1998), 395-401

Capital D, “Culture of Terrorism” from Insomnia, 402-405

neh group - 2017-1-2

Discuss Teaching Tools    

During the final day, participants will discuss the teaching tools they developed and what they learned from working on the tools. Participants are also encouraged to submit the tool for possible publication on the seminar website.